Using SQBS

The advent of NAQT’s statistics database has caused us to think a little bit harder about how to get results from a variety of tournaments into a common format for the easiest, quickest, and least error-prone uploading as possible.

With that goal in mind, NAQT is making a set of recommendations to tournament hosts that use Chris Sewell’s SQBS at their events. These are not requirements, merely suggestions that we hope hosts will follow to make our lives easier and to improve the usefulness of the statistics database for anybody who uses it.

If you’re using a different piece of statistics software, let us know and we’d be happy to come up with a similar list of suggestions. Alternatively, if you’re developing software that tabulates tournament statistics as all or part of its functionality and you’d like to discuss making your formats and data compatible with NAQT’s database, please drop us an e-mail and let us know what you are working on.

  1. Use the most recent version of SQBS. If you have an older one, upgrade!

  2. Enter the round number for each round (rather than leaving it blank).

  3. Please include full player names in the report. Without them, it’s impossible to effectively match players between tournaments. NAQT doesn’t prohibit players from competing under aliases, but we won’t be able to do much with such anonymous performances and they won’t be eligible for inclusion on our lists of quiz bowl records.

  4. If you embed the player’s grade in his or her name, please do it like this: “John Smith (12)”. That is, put the numerical grade in parentheses after the name.

  5. If a school/organization has multiple teams, please label them with capital letters starting with A (where A is notionally the best of the school’s teams). For instance: “Central High A”, “Central High B”, etc. This is true across divisions; if you have varsity and junior varsity divisions and Central High has a team in each, we’d still like the varsity team to be “Central High A” and the JV team to be “Central High B”. If this is fundamentally incompatible with how you want your stats to be displayed, please call the teams “Central High” and “Central High (JV)” with the JV in parentheses. More than one JV team should be “Central High A (JV)”, etc.

  6. If possible, use NAQT’s “short name” abbreviations. These are the names that already appear on tournament result pages and represent our attempt to come up with convenient, unique names for the organizations/schools in a region. (For instance, is “North” actually “Minneapolis North” or “North St. Paul”? We’ve decided that the former is “Minneapolis North” and the latter is “North St. Paul.” We don’t expect hosts to spend a lot of time crawling around our site looking for our exact terminology, but if you have a lot of the same teams as last year, please consider looking at NAQT’s results page from the previous tournament and duplicating the identifiers that we’ve used.

  7. Pay close attention to team names: If they are misspelled (or missing an apostrophe in a name like “St. John’s”), it can cause us to misidentify the team and misattribute the points.

  8. Please turn on all of the warnings that SQBS provides. These can catch a lot of common data-entry errors that would be rejected by our database (like having a total of 100 tossups heard (TUH) heard for the five players in a 20-TUH game). Once the results get to us, it’s very hard to figure out what the correct statistics are, whereas it’s comparatively easy if the scoresheets are at hand.

  9. NAQT considers the definition of “games played” (GP) to be the fraction of the game’s tossups that a player heard. So, even if you time games with Mary and Harry each playing 9 minutes, we’d want to see 0.4 GP for Mary and 0.6 GP for Harry if the halves had 8 tossups and 12 tossups respectively. One specific issue related to this is when there are an odd number of tossups heard; if Mary and Harry are each given 0.5 GP and there were 19 TUH in the game, then our database will assign each of them 9.5 TUH, which rounds to 10 TUH, which will result in the players have more total TUH than they should. Luckily, SQBS provides an easy (but poorly documented) mechanism for entering data in this fashion: One can enter a fraction like “9/19” in the GP box will convert it to a decimal upon clicking “Next.” This makes it easy to enter partial games played without doing a lot of division with a calculator.

  10. Please enter all of the tournament’s games, including playoff games. We would like to have complete statistics.

  11. Use the “overtime” boxes as intended. To wit: If a game goes into overtime, put the total number of tossups heard in the main box, but then check the “overtime” checkbox and enter the number of tossups answered correctly (regardless of whether or not they were for power) by each team in the two boxes to the right. This allows the correct computation of how many bonuses each team heard.

  12. If your tournament has multiple independent divisions (like a varsity and a junior varsity division, in which there are no games between a varsity team and a junior varsity team), we’d prefer to have one file for each division rather than a combined file with both divisions.

  13. Send us the SQBS data file, not the web reports. It is easier for us to process (and correct errors in) SQBS data files so we would rather receive those than the six HTML files that comprise a “Full Web Report.” If you really want to make us smile, name the file something uniquely identifying like “2007-powerbuzz-invitational.sqbs” rather than “results.”

We look forward to expanding the quality and quantity of results that are available to teams and hope that those of you using SQBS for your tournaments will take heed of some, if not all, of these requests.